Ten new-generation WRC cars entered for Monte
Ten new generation World Rally Cars will start the opening round of this year’s World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo next week.
The organisers of the seasonopening French Alps event revealed a 76-strong entry last week. Reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier runs at car one, making his debut in a Ford Fiesta WRC. The Frenchman continued his preparations for the Gap-based rally, testing in France until the middle of this week.
Ott Tanak and Elfyn Evans are the other point-scoring M-sport entries, with the Welshman the only 2017 World Rally Car running DMACKS.
Hyundai fields cars for Hayden Paddon, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo as expected, while there’s a Citroen C3 WRC apiece for Kris Meeke and Stephane Lefebvre. Craig Breen starts his campaign in a DS 3 WRC.
Jari-matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen – Toyota’s full-timers – will give Toyota’s Yaris WRC its debut.
The WRC2 series is headed by Rally Australia winner Andreas Mikkelsen, who starts his season in a factory Skoda Fabia R5 ( see above). There are 11 other entries in WRC2 and six starters in WRC3. There’s disappointment in the WRC Trophy series, where currently only Greek driver Jourdan Serderidis starts in his DS 3 WRC.
Conversely, the FIA R-GT Cup has four starters – including former Monte winner Francois Delecour, who runs one of three Abarth 124s. His countryman Romain Dumas starts as favourite in a Porsche 911.
Hyundai’s Kevin Abbring starts in an i20 R5 with a new co-driver, Martijn Wydaeghe, after his former navigator Seb Marshall announced his intention to strike out on a new challenge.